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Memoir

Edith C. Kieffer
Regents' Proceedings

Edith C. Kieffer, Ph.D., professor of social work in the School of Social Work, retired from active faculty status on May 31, 2019.

Professor Kieffer received her B.S. (1973) degree from the University of Oregon and her M.P.H. (1978) and Ph.D. (1991) degrees from the University of Hawaii. At the University of Michigan, she served as an assistant professor (1995-2001) and associate research scientist (2001-03) in the School of Public Health. She joined the School of Social Work as an associate research scientist in 2003, and was promoted to research associate professor in 2004, associate professor in 2005, and professor in 2014.

Professor Kieffer conducted research that addressed health and health care disparities. She had extensive experience planning, conducting, and analyzing data from qualitative formative research and intervention research studies in community and health care settings, including randomized clinical trials. Using community-based participatory research approaches and funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and others, she and collaborators evaluated the effectiveness of Detroit-based community health worker programs in improving the health of pregnant and postpartum women and people with, and at risk for, type 2 diabetes. These studies demonstrated significant improvements in dietary behaviors, depressive symptoms, glucose control, diabetes-related distress, and other positive outcomes. Professor Kieffer was also a co-investigator for the evaluation of the Healthy Michigan Plan Medicaid expansion. As a member of its survey team, she also led its qualitative studies exploring the experiences of beneficiaries and health care providers, and the impact of Medicaid coverage on access to and use of care, beneficiary health, employment, and other outcomes. She taught courses on health care policies and services; ethical dilemmas in health; reproductive, maternal, and infant health; child and adolescent health; and infant mortality. Professor Kieffer is a co-founder and board member of the Michigan Community Health Worker Alliance, an organization that promotes sustainability of community health worker programming and careers through policy change and workforce development.

The Regents now salute this distinguished scholar by naming Edith C. Kieffer, professor emerita of social work.